I’ll start this webpage with a little gripe against my normally very good Dad.
Dad taught me to play the piano and as such he was a very patient and an excellent teacher. But he taught me the wrong way – he just taught me in the standard teaching manner of the day – such as you would learn from any normal piano teacher (and as I was to receive 2 years later). But Dad should have known better – he didn’t learn that way himself. He learnt in a sane manner – thus he learnt at an early stage to put a simple accomplament to a tune he knew, because that is the essential thing you need to know, if you want to be useful and play for dances (which he did). Teachers don’t teach this way because it gives the students too much independence (and you can’t examine it easily). Thus I had to learn music all over again when I left home and returned to Australia. Of course the exercise of transcribing the musical notes on a page to the notes on a piano to produce music is a useful exercise (particularly if you want to chat up some girl by playing duets with her) – but it is hardly an artistic expression – which is what music is supposed to be all about. My Dad was terrific but he never was prepared to step too far away from the expected mode of normal behaviour (as I am – and proud of it). Dad himself played the piano very simply but very well. One of the joys of my life was to hear him play again the old two-step tunes he used to play for dances. I wish I had made a recording of them.
I have occasionally played the piano right up to the time I broke my back. Mostly this was for my own pleasure – but sometimes I played a duet with my daughter Naomi or my Dad. But in general I feel that all people (including myself) will first get more benefit by playing easier and simpler instruments.
My first easier instrument was a Baritone Ukulele (this instrument looks like a small guitar). It is a nice simple instrument. I changed its fret-board so that I could play in the natural scale – see my webpage “The Lost Chord”.
I learnt to play the recorder a little using my one of brother’s instruments when I was young. But later in my 30s I was invited to join a recorder group. So then I learnt to play the instrument seriously. At one stage I owned and played all 4 instruments in wood. But the simple plastic descant recorder is fine by itself. It is wonderful to play the instrument in a tight canyon – with the sound of a waterfall in the background.
Finally I learnt I learnt to play the Melodeon (basically button accordion with the note structure of a mouth-organ). This a perfect instrument to play for Morris dancing.
I am the guy sitting down with the red vest.
In the Black-Wattle Morris team, a group of us formed a band called “The Captain’s Whiskers Bush-Band”. I called and played recorder in this band. The photo shows this group.
However I really preferred my other musical activities of playing for Women’s Morris teams and the Playford Club. Later I played the melodeon for the Sheffield Morris team and a reformed Black-Wattle Morris team.
This picture was taken in the early days when I only played on my recorder and I had no written work to show off to the world passing by.
I now currently play in public every Saturday morning for half-an-hour outside Ashfield Mall. This is described in my book “A Special Period to stop Climate Change – book”(pdf) (the first two pages). This is my little chance to show the world that I can still do something of a physical nature.
This is my repertoire of the tunes I play (I, of course, know them all by heart).
First set (Morris Dances)
4 Rings, Nancy, Blue Bells of Scotland, Grand Old Dame, Endearing Young Charms, 100 Pipers.
Second set (Bush Music)
Jug of Punch, Galopede, Manchester Gallop, Keel Row, Coming thro the Rye, Saints go Marching In, Liza Jane.
Click go the Shears, Go Tell Aunt Rody D.
For children – Twinkle Twinkle little Star D, Baa Baa Black Sheep D, This Old Man D.
Danny Boy, Rosin the Beau, Sally Gardens, Kelly the boy from Killane, Planxty Irvin, I’ll tell my Ma, Top of Cork Rd, Irish Washerwoman, 42 Pound Float, Boys of Bluehill, Wearing of the Green.
Morpeth Rant, Ricket’s Hornpipe, Curly Headed Ploughboy, Love is but a Lassie, Hear’s to the Maiden, Heart of Man, Sonata in G, What is Life, Nightingale, Lass with the Delicate Air, The Mermaid, Gypsy Rover, Lincolnshire Poacher, Country Gardens, Charlotte, Misery Me Lackaday Dee, Greensleeves.
Turkey in the Straw C, New World Symphony G, Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane C , Merry Blacksmith D, Last Thing on my Mind D, Coming Round the Mountain D, I Know the Lord G, The Whole World, Liza Jane, Camptown Races, Suzanna, Pick a Bale of Cotton, Yellow Rose of Texas D.
Rose Tree, 10,000 Miles, Click go the Shears, Moreton Bay, The Overlander, Wild Colonial Boy, Van Diemaen’s Land, Drover’s Dream, Reedy River, Black Velvet Band, South Australia, Botany Bay.
Guilderoy, Campbells are Coming, 100 Pipers, Bonny Dundee, My Love is like a red, red Rose, Annie Laurie, Mari’s Wedding, Coming thro the Rye D, Cock of the North, Scotland the Brave, White Cockade, Ye Banks and Braes C, Skye boat Song, Bonny Charlie G.
Mussi Lorelei, Beethoven’s 9th, Drumes, I Love You, Tarran Terra, Brahm’s Lullaby, Lilli Marlone.
Martydom, Amazing Grace, Regent’s Square, Crimond C, Blessed Assurance, For the Might of thine Arm, Awake Awake, Lord of the Dance D.
Ride-on, ride-on in Majesty, All Creatures of our God and King, Christ the Lord is risen Today, Oh the World itself keeps Easter Day, When I survey the Wondrous Cross, Thine be the Glory.
Wassail song (Love and Joy), Now the Holly G, God rest ye merry Gentlemen, Joy to the World, The first Noel, Ding Dong merrily on High, Jingle bells, In dulci Jubilo, Angels from the Realms of Glory, Good Christian men rejoice and Sing.
You might now also like to look back at:
either my “Home Page” (which introduces this whole website and lists all my webpages).
My next normal webpage is “My Books“.
Updated on 14/11/2016.